PHNO SCIENCE & INFOTECH NEWS
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports)

CNN PHILIPPINES: FB LINKS FILIPINOS WORLDWIDE WITH FREE INTERNET, THANKS TO FB FOUNDER ZUCKERBERG


One of the major functions of the Internet is to bridge people. When people have access to the Internet, they connect to the world. According to internetlivestats.com, however, only 40% of the world has access to the Internet. The rest remains unconnected. In the Philippines, not all Filipinos have access to the Internet. But thanks to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for bringing mobile Internet to all Filipinos. Facebook and Smart network launched on Thursday (March 19) the Internet.org app, which offers a set of basic mobile Internet services — including news, health, messaging and communication — without data charges.  Internet.org is a Facebook-led initiative that aims to make mobile Internet services available to two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected. Read more...

ALSO: Inquirer.net joins FB in free mobile Internet


Facebook director for Global Operator Partnerships Markku Makelainen. Photo by Janine Villagracia/INQUIRER.net  MANILA, Philippines–Thanks to a mobile application, even Filipinos who don’t have connectivity can now access online news content on Inquirer.net for free.  The Inquirer has partnered with the social networking site Facebook to bring free Internet service to users through the mobile application Internet.org, which allows users to browse its partner websites for free. As of date, Internet.org has 24 partner websites. The application, launched in the Philippines on March 18, also marked its first arrival in Southeast Asia. The Philippines now joins Colombia, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, India and Zambia in hosting Internet.org. In his official Facebook account, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “We’re one step closer to connecting the world as we launched Internet.org in the Philippines today. Now everyone in the country can have free access to Internet services for health, education, jobs and communication on the Smart network.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: Miriam Santiago rules the Net with millions of FB, Twitter followers


SEN. MIRIAM SANTIAGO
MANILA, Philippines–She is not just the commencement speaker by popular demand—she also rules the Internet. After earning the top spot in a recent Inquirer online poll on netizens’ choice of graduation speaker, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago took another coveted title. Santiago, also called Asia’s Iron Lady, has beaten her colleagues by having the biggest number of supporters on social media among senators, according to a statement from her office. Her followers on Facebook and Twitter have reportedly doubled this year compared to last year. At present, more than 2.6 million are following Santiago on her official Facebook page, or double the number in March last year. Her Twitter account also has 1.348 million followers, more than double the 649,000 she had in the same period last year. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Free Wi-Fi in Philippines before 2015 ends


The Philippines currently has a 52% Internet penetration rate, according to the data issued by DOST.   (CNN Philippines) — Selected public places across the Philippines will have free Wi-Fi Internet access before 2015 ends. Good news for Filipinos, but it's not without a catch.  The project, "Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places," will be implemented by the Department of Science and Technology's Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO). The details of the project were released on its website.  The free Wi-Fi will be accessible in social places, such as public schools, parks, libraries, national and local government offices, public hospitals and rural health units, airports, seaports, and LRT-MRT stations. READ ON...

ALSO: Make sure to protect your data when using public Wi-Fi


 Here's a common scene at cafes or restaurants: Before asking for the menu, people first ask, "Do you have free Wi-Fi? What's the password?"  While it may be tempting to get free Internet access, it's best to be aware that you're jeopardizing your online safety when connecting to public networks. It's ridiculously easy to steal your information if you're connected to a public network. Here are a few tips then to keep your online data safe while connected to a public Wi-Fi network. CONTINUE READING....

ALSO: Which digital and mobile services are bang for the buck? ---- 'Appsize': Downloads worth paying for


Having a smartphone is essential with the way the digital era has changed our daily lives.  Although most of the services we use on our gadgets are free, there are some that offer premium services at a reasonable tag price.  Let’s take a look at some of the online and mobile services that are bang for the buck. Dropbox Pro  When you download video files and take hi-resolution photos, there will come an inevitable point in time where you will run out of space on your phone or tablet for all the stuff. Good thing there's Dropbox. Dropbox is still one of the best storage services in cyberspace. The free version Dropbox gives you up to 16GB of storage that you can sync to your portable devices but the paid version (around P450/month) extends the capacity to 1TB and has more features like remote-wiping of files when your smartphone gets lost or stolen.  READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS:

FB links Filipinos worldwide with free Internet


Internet.org is a Facebook-led initiative that aims to make mobile Internet services available to two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected.

CNN PHILIPPINES, MARCH 23, 2015 (CNN PHILIPPINES)  By Clift Daluz, CNN Philippines Updated 21:32 PM PHT Thu, March 19, 2015 - One of the major functions of the Internet is to bridge people. When people have access to the Internet, they connect to the world.

According to internetlivestats.com, however, only 40% of the world has access to the Internet. The rest remains unconnected.

In the Philippines, not all Filipinos have access to the Internet. But thanks to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for bringing mobile Internet to all Filipinos.

Facebook and Smart network launched on Thursday (March 19) the Internet.org app, which offers a set of basic mobile Internet services — including news, health, messaging and communication — without data charges.

Internet.org  is a Facebook-led initiative that aims to make mobile Internet services available to two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected.

Read more...
For its initial phase, the app allows Filipinos to enjoy free access to a buffet of 24 websites featuring informative and practical content, including, of course, Facebook and Messenger, on their mobile phones.


Smart_Internet_CNNPH

Since 2014, Internet.org has been rolled out in six countries, including Colombia, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, India, and Zambia, enabling people to browse useful information and websites with zero data charges.

Posted on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg said: “We’re one step closer to connecting the world as we launched Internet.org in the Philippines today. Now everyone in the country can have free access to the internet services…”

The app, however, is available only to Smart and Sun subscribers and initially downloadable on the Google Play Store.


INQUIRER

Inquirer.net joins FB in free mobile Internet Janine Villagracia @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 4:44 AM | Sunday, March 22nd, 2015


Facebook director for Global Operator Partnerships Markku Makelainen. Photo by Janine Villagracia/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–Thanks to a mobile application, even Filipinos who don’t have connectivity can now access online news content on Inquirer.net for free.

The Inquirer has partnered with the social networking site Facebook to bring free Internet service to users through the mobile application Internet.org, which allows users to browse its partner websites for free. As of date, Internet.org has 24 partner websites.

The application, launched in the Philippines on March 18, also marked its first arrival in Southeast Asia. The Philippines now joins Colombia, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, India and Zambia in hosting Internet.org.

In his official Facebook account, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “We’re one step closer to connecting the world as we launched Internet.org in the Philippines today. Now everyone in the country can have free access to Internet services for health, education, jobs and communication on the Smart network.”

READ MORE...
Powered by Smart Communications, the application provides free basic Internet services to Smart, Sun and Talk ’N Text subscribers, who can download it via Google Play. Non-Android users can simply text INTERNET to 9999 to access the free Internet service.

Easier to use

Markku Makelainen, Facebook director for Global Operator Partnerships, said the main goal of the initiative is to empower the “disconnected” populace and to link up everyone in the world by providing Internet connection in areas where connectivity is less affordable.

“We started two years back just thinking how we can help to connect the world, and last year we did a couple of tests with a handful of partners,” recalled Makelainen. “This year, we have basically found the model that works, (which is) sustainable for our partners, and (which) works for our users.”

He added: “It’s (also) easier to use so we are scaling this out now.”

Inquirer Group’s director for mobile and social JV Rufino said the Inquirer was supporting the Facebook initiative because “it is the mission of one of the top news organizations in the country to provide news and information to as many Filipinos as possible. It’s why we’re in print, broadcast, online, social and mobile (platforms). This initiative with Facebook naturally flows from that.”

The Inquirer also believes in “bridging the gap” brought about by “the digital divide and limited access to the Internet,” he added.

He also believes that the information available to people greatly influence their decision-making, Rufino said. “The more information choices are made available to you, the greater your chance of making better decisions,” he added.

“Knowledge is power,” agreed Inquirer Interactive Inc. sales and marketing director Joanne Llavore. “(The application) allows us, a news publisher, to extend our reach to (a bigger) audience in the Philippines.”

Added Inquirer.net editor in chief John Nery: “The more Filipinos on the Internet, the better for the Philippines. The Internet.org democratic access project is an initiative worth watching—and supporting.”


INQUIRER

Miriam Santiago rules the Net with millions of FB, Twitter followers Leila B. Salaverria @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:47 AM | Sunday, March 22nd, 2015


SEN. MIRIAM SANTIAGO

MANILA, Philippines–She is not just the commencement speaker by popular demand—she also rules the Internet.

After earning the top spot in a recent Inquirer online poll on netizens’ choice of graduation speaker, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago took another coveted title.

Santiago, also called Asia’s Iron Lady, has beaten her colleagues by having the biggest number of supporters on social media among senators, according to a statement from her office.

Her followers on Facebook and Twitter have reportedly doubled this year compared to last year.

At present, more than 2.6 million are following Santiago on her official Facebook page, or double the number in March last year.

Her Twitter account also has 1.348 million followers, more than double the 649,000 she had in the same period last year.

CONTINUE READING....

Witty quotes

Just how popular is Santiago among netizens?

This post of hers on Facebook in March last year generated 307,062 likes and 37,970 shares: “Handbags? I don’t like them at all because they occupy my hands. My hands always have to be ready, in case I need to slap somebody.”

But her tweets on the 2016 presidential elections, corruption in the government elicited the most retweets and favorites.

Her tweet, “In the 2016 presidential elections, when I am rid of my lung cancer, I intend to claim the presidency I won in 1992,” recorded 1,140 retweets and 1,751 favorites.

Posted in September, this tweet, “Every time I hear news on corruption, I want to become president of this feckless country,” generated 1,259 retweets and 1,541 favorites.

And this tweet, “For all those jerks in government who are my enemies, they are the reason why God created the middle finger,” recorded 1,841 retweets and 1,763 favorites.

Santiago’s fearless statements and witty one-liners have also made her the runaway “dream graduation speaker” in a weeklong Inquirer online poll on social media. The participants said she could give them insights into the complexity of life while dropping punch lines on the side.

‘Stupid’ book

Santiago’s winning wisecracks have materialized into a book of joke collections, which was released in December.

The book, titled “Stupid Is Forever,” was published by ABS-CBN Publishing Inc. and remains on top of National Book Store’s list of best-selling books by Filipino authors.

During her book launching, Santiago thanked the “the millions of stupid people in the Philippines” who inspired the volume of funny quotes and shared her views on the burning issues of the day.

More recently, she thanked the graduating students of 2015 for choosing her as the top commencement speaker in the Inquirer online poll.

“I pray for strength so that I may meet you all,” she said.

Santiago, who is suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, is on medical leave from the Senate. Last year, she announced that she was also battling Stage 4 lung cancer.

Despite the setback, she has filed the biggest number of bills and resolutions in the 16th Congress as of the end of 2014. She has also presided over public hearings of the Senate committees on constitutional amendments and foreign relations.

The rest of the pack

The only government official who has more followers than Santiago on his official social media accounts is President Aquino.

Aquino has 4.16 million likes on his official Facebook page as of Saturday, and has 2.5 million followers on Twitter.

Ranking next to Santiago among senators in the number of Facebook followers is Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who has more than 544,000 as of Saturday. Sen. Francis Escudero is next with more than 491,000 likes, Sen. Antonio Trillanes with more than 401,000 and Sen. Cynthia Villar with more than 300,000 likes.

On Twitter, Sen. Pia Cayetano has the biggest number of followers after Santiago, with more than 360,000. She is followed by Escudero with more than 220,000, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. with more than 193,000 and Sen. Sonny Angara with more than 63,000.


CNN PHILIPPINES

Free Wi-Fi in Philippines before 2015 ends By Lara Tan, CNN Philippines Updated 22:41 PM PHT Thu, March 19, 2015

The Philippines currently has a 52% Internet penetration rate, according to the data issued by DOST.

(CNN Philippines) — Selected public places across the Philippines will have free Wi-Fi Internet access before 2015 ends. Good news for Filipinos, but it's not without a catch.

The project, "Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places," will be implemented by the Department of Science and Technology's Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO). The details of the project were released on its website.

The free Wi-Fi will be accessible in social places, such as public schools, parks, libraries, national and local government offices, public hospitals and rural health units, airports, seaports, and LRT-MRT stations.

Related: Are you jeopardizing your safety when using public Wi-Fi?

The 24/7 public free Wi-Fi will be available not only in thriving urban cities, but also in rural towns.

The project will be implemented by the DOST-ICTO in three phases. By July 2015, the free Wi-Fi in all metropolitan areas will be operational. The completion of the project is set to be done by November 2015.

Too good to be true?

Here's the catch: There's no assurance that registered users will receive the promised Internet speed indicated in the project.

The project states that on completion, it will serve 105,000 users, all allotted with 256 kbps each, which is the lowest prevailing speed requirement for a broadband service.

It will adhere to the Fair Usage Policy that will impose limits on the amount of data a user will be allowed to transfer, as typically done by all mobile broadbands to ensure that it can service as many users as possible.

Also read: Which digital and mobile services are bang for the buck?

With the 256 kbps speed, you can check your e-mail and browse websites that aren't image heavy. You can also stream short videos, but not without buffering time. Do not even bother downloading songs or movies with this Internet speed.

All registered devices will have the same speed with varying degrees of speed assurance depending on the level you are registered to.

Level 1, the lowest, will have to be registered through a Captive Portal greeting page, similar to when you connect to a mall's free Wi-Fi. Sadly, the DOST-ICTO says there is "no assurance" that you will get the 256 kbps 1 GB monthly allowance (50 MB daily).

A Level 2 registration requires the presentation of a government ID or a passport. It has a "low assurance" that it will receive the monthly allocation of 2 GB or 100 MB daily with speeds of 256 kbps. A registered Level 2 user may use the account on multiple devices.

Registering for a Level 3 or a Digital ID will be subject to the requirements of the National Public Key Infrastructure. It will be tied to the Common Reference Number (CRN) of the Universal Multi-purpose ID (UMID). There is a "high assurance" that a Level 3 will receive the monthly allocation of 3 GB (300 MB daily) with speeds of 256 kbps.

Those registered under the Levels 1 and 2 can access selected sites, which include news, education, government, and social networking websites, and selected public e-mail systems.

Those registered under Level 3 can access any website, except sites blacklisted by the Philippine government.

The budget for this project is P1.408 billion, instead of the originally proposed P339 million in the National Expenditure Program, as authorized in the 2015 General Appropriations Act.


CNN PHILIPPINES

Protect your data when using public Wi-Fi By Lara Tan, CNN Philippines Updated 14:32 PM PHT Thu, March 12, 2015

(CNN Philippines) – Here's a common scene at cafes or restaurants: Before asking for the menu, people first ask, "Do you have free Wi-Fi? What's the password?"

While it may be tempting to get free Internet access, it's best to be aware that you're jeopardizing your online safety when connecting to public networks.

It's ridiculously easy to steal your information if you're connected to a public network.

Here are a few tips then to keep your online data safe while connected to a public Wi-Fi network.

1. Secure your data with a firewall

If you're using your laptop, make sure its antivirus and anti-spyware software are turned on and up-to-date.

Never turn off your firewall because will protect your laptop from hackers who might try to steal your information or crash your computer.

2. Avoid typing sensitive content

Don't do your e-commerce transactions, such as online banking or online shopping, when connected to a public Wi-Fi network. Do those things in the safety of your home using your own connection.

Nelson Pascua, an IT systems and network administration supervisor, even discourages accessing your e-mail or Facebook account when connected to a public Wi-Fi network.

"Doing research and viewing YouTube videos are the safest activities to do when connected to a public Wi-Fi. There is nothing to be stolen from you when you do these activities," he said.

3. Use HTTPS (as opposed to HTTP)

Check the URL bar. If it starts with a "https://" and an icon of a padlock on its left side, it's most likely safe. Browsing sites with HTTPS will make you less susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks.

The difference between HTTP and HTTPS is that HTTPS has an added layer of security known as Secure Sockets Layer or SSL.

Google, Yahoo!, Twitter, Facebook, and online banking sites are some examples of websites that use HTTPS.

4. Keep your software and apps updated

Most of the time, software patches and application updates are created to improve its performance or fix it, including fixing security issues.

5. If you don't need to, don't.

Pascua said that if it is not extremely necessary to connect, don't. Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network means that you are also giving your information to the public, whether you like it or not.


CNN PHILIPPINES

Which digital and mobile services are bang for the buck? - 'Appsize': Downloads worth paying for By JC Ansis, CNN Philippines Updated 21:06 PM PHT Thu, March 12, 2015

(CNN Philippines) – Having a smartphone is essential with the way the digital era has changed our daily lives.

Although most of the services we use on our gadgets are free, there are some that offer premium services at a reasonable tag price.

Let’s take a look at some of the online and mobile services that are bang for the buck.

Dropbox Pro

When you download video files and take hi-resolution photos, there will come an inevitable point in time where you will run out of space on your phone or tablet for all the stuff. Good thing there's Dropbox. Dropbox is still one of the best storage services in cyberspace. The free version Dropbox gives you up to 16GB of storage that you can sync to your portable devices but the paid version (around P450/month) extends the capacity to 1TB and has more features like remote-wiping of files when your smartphone gets lost or stolen.

HOOQ

HOOQ is the first video on-demand service that hopes to revolutionize how we consume digital media here in the Philippines. It gives customers the ability to watch up to 10,000 international and local movies and television series on mobile devices. This amazing service allows you to stream and download videos (legally, I might add) anytime and anywhere on your smartphone for an affordable price of P199 per month.

*The HOOQ service will roll out in the coming weeks via Globe Telecom

Spotify Premium

Whether driving to work or commuting to school, listening to music always helps us tolerate the hustle and bustle of city traffic. Though the radio is one of the primary sources of tunes when on the go, the new generation today has turned to Spotify, a music service that gives users online access to a vast catalog of songs. Though the free version will suffice, Spotify Premium allows you unlimited streams of your favorite music, without any annoying advertisements. Plus you can save those tunes on your device for offline use as well. All that for just a monthly fee of P129.

NBA League Pass

Seeing we’re a basketball-crazy nation, another service worth buying is the NBA League Pass. Through the NBA GameTime app, the NBA League Pass allows avid fans to stream live games in HD fashion on their gadgets whenever and wherever. There are two options to avail this service – P50 gets you one access code, which you can use for 24 hours, and P299 gives you seven (7) daily codes.

Waze

With the traffic conditions in our country, having an app that gives us updates on which roads to avoid and which alternate routes to take is a necessity. Waze is a savvy crowdsource navigation app that has become very popular among motorists and commuters who are allergic to getting stuck in traffic jams. For an affordable rate of P99 a month, you can use Waze to get to wherever you have to go in the quickest possible way.

Editor’s note: Prices listed as of February 23, 2015


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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